South Florida 4-4-0 "American" Locomotives of the USA

Class Details by Steve Llanso of Sweat House Media

Class 17 (Locobase 16259)

Data from Baldwin Locomotive Works Specification for Engines, as digitized by the DeGolyer Library of Southern Methodist University, Volume 12, p. 242. Works numbers were 7759, 7763 in December 1885 and 7795, 7798 in February 1886.

These wood-burning Eight-wheelers had two interesting requirements in their specs. One is the very short valve travel (3 1/2"/89 mm), attibutable to its short-stroke setup. The other related to the increasingly likely gauge widening to 4' 8 1/2", specifying "Cylinders to be cast separate from saddle to facilitate changing gauge."

18-19 were sold in 1891 to the Ashley Price Lumber Company of Douglas, Ga, which they served at least until 1906. In 1893, the South Florida went through the gauge modification and 17 and 20 stayed with the railroad as it joined the Savannah Florida & Western Railway. They were off the roster by 1902.

Class E B Haskell (Locobase 16257)

Data from Baldwin Locomotive Works Specification for Engines, as digitized by the DeGolyer Library of Southern Methodist University, Volume 11, p. 178. Works number was 6660 in March 1883.

After purchasing the two small wood-burning Eight-wheelers described in Locobase 16256, the South Florida bought an engine ordered in October 1882 for the Thibaud Brothers' Vera Cruz a Alvarado Railway in Mexico. (Locobase 11807 shows an identical engine built for the Hidalgo y Noreste Railway in 1882.) When that order was cancelled, the locomotive was purchased by the SF in April 1883.

Compared to the two earlier 4-4-0s, the 6 had a longer stroke, more heating surface area, and a larger tender. It served the SF until that road converted to standard gauge in 1886. It joined the 4 and 5 on the Orange Belt until 1890, when it was sold north to the Norfolk, Albemarle & Atlantic in Virginia. The NA&A was renamed Norfolk Virginia Beach & Southern in 1896, but the 6 retained its road number. Works number 6660 finally reached Mexico in 1899, when it was sold to Fosburgh Lumber to support logging there.

Class James T Sanford (Locobase 16256)

Data from Baldwin Locomotive Works Specification for Engines, as digitized by the DeGolyer Library of Southern Methodist University, Volume 11, p. 2. See also Donald R. Hensley, Jr., "The Orange Belt Railway", from his TapLines website, last accessed 26 January 2017 at . Works numbers were 5990 in January 1882 and 6294 in July 1882.

Locobase at first thought these two Eight-wheeled wood-burners (the second named C H Andrews) borrowed a lot of their design from the Herald, a single small Mogul delivered to the SFRR in 1881 and described in Locobase 16254. Few of the dimensions match, however, and while these are themselves quite small locomotives, they had somewhat more boiler, a non-cubic firebox, and taller drivers.

When the South Florida converted to standard gauge, this pair migrated to the Orange Belt in October 1886 as their #4. Don Hensley wrote that the Orange Belt came into being in the mid-1880s as a result of generous state land grants to narrow-gauge railway builders on Florida's "frontier". AKA The Tarpon Route, the OB Rwy was "one of the last common carrier narrow gauge roads to be built in Florida, which was also one of the last to be converted to standard gauge."

After 1893's business panic, the ailing OB was reorganized as the Sanford & Saint Petersburg in recognition of the long 152 mile (245 km) mainline between the two cities.

When the Plant System bought the S&SP in 1895 and converted it to standard gauge, the 4 was retired. The 5's later career supported southeastern logging companies. Dennis-Simmons Lumber bought it and later sold it to Williamson-Brown Land and Lumber of Cerro Gordo, NC in June 1904. The engine's record acquired a Baldwin "Extra Order" number at this point, which may indicate an overhaul. A year later, W-B sold the 5 to Marion Lumber Company of Marion, SC. (This transaction also attracted an Extra Order number in November 1907.)

Specifications by Steve Llanso of Sweat House Media
Class17E B HaskellJames T Sanford
Locobase ID16259 16257 16256
RailroadSouth FloridaSouth FloridaSouth Florida
Number in Class412
Road Numbers17-2064-5
Number Built412
BuilderBurnham, Parry, Williams & CoBurnham, Parry, Williams & CoBurnham, Parry, Williams & Co
Valve GearStephensonStephensonStephenson
Locomotive Length and Weight
Driver Wheelbase 8.50' 6.75' 5.75'
Engine Wheelbase20.92'17.83' 5.75'
Ratio of driving wheelbase to overall engine wheebase 0.41 0.381
Overall Wheelbase (engine & tender)15.25'
Axle Loading (Maximum Weight per Axle)
Weight on Drivers33000 lbs
Engine Weight52000 lbs
Tender Light Weight
Total Engine and Tender Weight
Tender Water Capacity2000 gals1200 gals1000 gals
Tender Fuel Capacity (oil/coal)
Minimum weight of rail (calculated)28 lb/yard00
Geometry Relating to Tractive Effort
Driver Diameter52"42"42"
Boiler Pressure130 psi130 psi130 psi
Cylinders (dia x stroke)15" x 18"11" x 16"9" x 16"
Tractive Effort8606 lbs5094 lbs3410 lbs
Factor of Adhesion (Weight on Drivers/Tractive Effort) 3.83
Heating Ability
Firebox Area45 sq. ft
Grate Area10.70 sq. ft 7.40 sq. ft6 sq. ft
Evaporative Heating Surface402 sq. ft
Superheating Surface
Combined Heating Surface0402 sq. ft0
Evaporative Heating Surface/Cylinder Volume228.43
Computations Relating to Power Output (More Information)
Robert LeMassena's Power Computation1391962780
Same as above plus superheater percentage1391962780
Same as above but substitute firebox area for grate area058500
Power L1032420
Power MT0

If you have any railroad data such as diagram books, rail station plans or anything else that you would be willing to share, please contact us.